children's theatre of elgin / fox valley theatre company


Want to try out for CTE/FVTC shows? Find out all about it right here!

In 1988, CTE was founded with the goal of casting as many interested young people as we possibly could so they could have a chance to learn, improve, perform – and have fun! And that’s still our goal.

Every show starts with an open casting call, meaning that anyone in the right age group may audition and the roles are not pre-cast. We love to cast students and young adults with a broad range of skills, including brand new students.

Note: CTE workshops are definitely helpful preparation for auditions and participation, but are not a requirement.

General Audition Information



Children’s Theatre of Elgin (CTE) is for children in 2nd through 9th grade. 1st graders may only audition if they will be finished with 1st grade at the time of the show opening. Fox Valley Theatre Company (FVTC) is for young people in 9th grade through age 20. All CTE and FVTC programs are open to all individuals of the appropriate ages regardless of disability, gender, race, creed, sexual orientation, or economic status.

Time commitment

Rehearsal schedules vary by production and role and may include weekday evenings and/or weekends. A schedule will be available at registration for the audition which will include most rehearsals and times. A more finalized schedule will be available at the family meeting (which is often the same night as the first rehearsal). Most cast members will be scheduled about 2 rehearsals per week for the first few weeks, but once we begin running the full acts all cast members would be expected to attend. Up to 3 excused absences are allowed during regular rehearsals. Additional absences must be approved by producer and may jeopardize student’s participation. Attendance is required at all tech/dress rehearsals and performances. Tech rehearsals may run until 10:00 p.m.  Shows at The Hemmens Cultural Center include 2 school days. CTE will provide a letter to give to educators informing them of the reason for the absence.

  At the time of registration, please be sure to list any outstanding commitments that may conflict with our rehearsal or performance schedule, so that we can take that into consideration when casting the show..  Recurring absences during the rehearsal process may affect your continued participation in the production. 

Volunteers are the backbone of CTE productions! We ask our families to be part of our productions alongside their cast member by volunteering on a committee! Committees vary by show and may include costumes, publicity, tech crew, set construction, concessions, and more! You can read about our committees at

Audition requirements vary by show, but most of the expectations stay the same. Auditioners will be asked to prepare 16 measures (or about 1 minute) of a song. Musical theatre selections are preferred for most shows; Disney songs are also welcome, and some rock/pop songs are appropriate for Showstoppers auditions. You will need to provide sheet music for the accompanist. and are great resources to download printable music. A spoken selection is also sometimes required – often, CTE will send auditioners short spoken pieces to prepare. For Fox Valley Theatre Company (9th graders – 20 years old) shows, a prepared monologue will sometimes be asked. All audition expectations can be found in your confirmation email that is sent once you register to audition. Almost all auditions will have a dance portion that is learned at the audition as a group. Callbacks are held a day or two after auditions, and auditioners will be contacted directly if the director wants to see them for a callback. Remember – come prepared, come on time, and come ready to have fun!

Code of Conduct requirements

All cast members and parents/guardians must read and agree to abide by CTE’s codes of conduct. Violation of the code may lead to cast member’s immediate removal from the show and may jeopardize further participation. Cast Member Code of Conduct (minors) Cast Member Code of Conduct  Age 18+ Adult-Parent Volunteer Code of Conduct

Cost to participate

There is no fee to audition for CTE/FVTC. Once cast, you will be send a link to register for the show. This registration will include payment of show fees. This amount varies per show, and ranges from about $150 to $260, depending upon the show.

Payment is due on the day of the first rehearsal. Parents may either pay in full or enroll in a payment plan by the first rehearsal date.

Cancellation and refund schedule:
100% refund given if cancellation is communicated 1-6 calendar days after the first rehearsal date. If enrolled in a payment plan, CTE refunds the 25% deposit paid at registration
75% refund given if cancellation is communicated within 7-13 calendar days of the first rehearsal date. If enrolled in a payment plan, CTE keeps the 25% already charged, but does not charge the remaining 75%
50% refund given if cancellation is communicated within 14-20 calendar days of the first rehearsal date. If enrolled in a payment plan, CTE agrees to not charge anything further, but keeps the two 25% installment payments already made.
No refund will be given if cancellation is communicated 21 calendar days or more after the first rehearsal date. If enrolled in a payment plan, parent agrees that the card on file will be charged the full amount at the time of cancellation.

Specific shoes (usually jazz, character, or tap shoes) as well as some costume pieces and personal makeup and hair supplies will also be required. For shows performed at The Hemmens Cultural Center, cast families may be asked to provide treats to sell during intermission or pay an additional fee to opt out.


Fees assistance

CTE/FVTC is committed to enriching lives through theatre, and we work hard to remove any barriers that may stand in the way, including financial ones.  To apply for a scholarship, download and submit our scholarship form and submit along with the required documentation.  You can mail your form to “Children’s Theatre of Elgin, 1700 Spartan Drive H104, Elgin IL 60123” or scan and email it to Questions? Contact our office at 847-214-7152 or

CTE Scholarship Application


Audition Registration

Read everything on the page above before registering.

Registration must be completed by parents or participants 18 years or older.